Fishing for the Coral Triangle
The coral triangle is located in South East Asia and supports 130 million people, across six countries, over an area of 1.6 billion acres. It is the richest area of biodiversity in the world.
However, overfishing, pollution, overpopulation and climate change are putting this essential ecosystem in danger.
Focusing on the Philippines as a microcosm, this story utilises a variety of media to explore these threats and their relationship to the regions food security. Many predict food security in the Coral Triangle will be jeopardised in the near future, if the degradation to costal and marine resources continues at its current rate.
The story is intended to be viewed on the Ipad platform, and breaks down the narrative elements in an innovative way, inspired by Fred Ritchin’s hypothesis of hyperphotography:
"It is possible to think of photographs or even pieces of photographs as nodes that link to a variety of other media, what I call hyperphotography, rather than as images that are sufficient in and of themselves. In this way, the reader becomes much more implicated in the unfolding of a story when he or she has to choose pathways to follow as a means of exploring various ideas, rather than being presented with only one possible sequence."
Although 'Fishing For The Coral Triangle' can be viewed in a linier manner, by pinching two fingers the viewer is free to navigate around the entire story, and can therefore decide to engage in specific areas of interest. Furthermore, embedded within the pages, the viewer has the option to develop a deeper understanding by viewing interviews with experts, should they choose.
In foregoing the traditional distribution channel of print media for in depth journalism, it becomes possible to provide a diverse mix of media in one package. Technology has lifted restrictions in the ability to truly engage an audience on all elements of a story. As some strands are appropriate as text, video or photography respectively, it was previously impossible to effectively tell a story on one platform.
As print media continues to search for a saviour to rapidly declining circulation, it has attempted to appropriate multimedia and alternative distribution channels as a solution.
In 2010 the App market for the Ipad was first released and was widely regarded as the answer. (Pontin 2012)
Publishers have since expressed frustration at the lack of income apps have merited. (Ingram, 2012)
I believe this is because few publishers have understood the nature and potential of this new platform, often producing pdf versions of its print content. I feel that by working with the Ipad’s strengths, 'Fishing For The Coral Triangle' demonstrates how a single journalist can report an issue in an engaging and informative way.